The House of Reed 1907–1983: Great days in New Zealand publishing

House of Reed 1907-1983, The Great days in New Zealand Publishing

Edmund Bohan

(Out of print)

June 2005
296pp, Paperback
228 x 152 mm
ISBN 1-877257-32-X

This groundbreaking account of New Zealand’s most famous publishing house, A. H. & A. W. Reed, traces its evolution from a Dunedin mail-order supplier of Sunday school supplies into a dynamic business that dominated indigenous book publishing. This is in particular the story of a series of remarkable relationships: between A. H. Reed – one of the best-known New Zealanders of his time, his nephew A. W. (Cliff) Reed, the innovative young ex-servicemen who, in the years following the Second World War, expanded the firm, and the host of memorable writers, photographers and artists whose books they published.

It also reveals how dramatically changing economic and social climates in the 1970s combined with the firm’s developing internal crises to make its sale and extinction in 1983 inevitable. For outsiders, this was an unexpected fate for what appeared to be the most remarkable success story in our publishing history.

The story of A. H. & A. W. Reed is an integral chapter in the narrative of New Zealand’s growth as a nation, and is essential reading for anyone interested in our evolving literary, social and cultural history.

Historian, biographer and novelist, Edmund Bohan is the author of EdwardStafford, New Zealand’s first statesmanBlest Madman, FitzGerald of CanterburyTo be a Hero, a biography of Sir George GreyClimates of War:New Zealand in conflict, 1859–1869Burdon, a man of our timeA Short Illustrated History of New Zealand; and seven historical novels, including the O’Rorke series.  He is a history honours graduate of the University of Canterbury and in 1995 was the John David Stout Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington.